MADIBA: Art for Conservation

Purchase ‘Madiba’ and be a part of conservation in the Overstrand

To the casual observer, fynbos may look like an uninteresting landscape, a sea of grey shrubby plants in sandy rocky soil. A closer look into the thicket will reveal fine leaves and delicate flowers indicating the vast variety within the fynbos landscape. It is a true botanist’s paradise and one of the most diverse botanical biospheres in the world. 

Art for Conservation

Situated on Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, the Hanarie Wenhold Botanical Gallery collection is a celebration of the natural fynbos environment within the Walker Bay region. The gallery houses the Grootbos  Florilegium, a collection of botanical artworks featuring the indigenous plants of the nature reserve. This collection is a collaboration between art and nature intended to inspire and inform the public about the beauty of our natural world while generating funds for Grootbos Foundation .

The Grootbos Florilegium is unique in that each of the botanical artworks includes a creature or insect which performs a pollination role, an ode to the incredible work of the entomology and conservation team in documenting and researching the biodiversity of the Walker Bay and Overberg region. 

And yet it is not only the smallest inhabitants of the fynbos which are celebrated; charismatic mammals who, though shy and rarely seen by humans, play a significant and indispensable role in the fynbos ecosystem.

PROJECT INGWE – A FAUNAL FEATURE

The Grootbos Foundation Conservation Research Unit monitors the movement and distribution of mammals and birds through the use of motion sensor cameras. Our teams use this information to inform our conservation work. 27 native species have been recorded using these cameras including Cape leopard. Cape leopard is often thought of as being a separate species but, in fact, it is genetically the same as the African leopard, Panthera pardus pardus – it is simply smaller in stature because of the prey it eats. As the apex predator of the fynbos region, its existence regulates the ecosystem of the landscape, maintaining prey numbers (of dune moles, grysbok and similar) as well as the abundance, behaviour and densities of smaller predators, making them a marker for the health of this environment.  

Madiba is the name of a large male leopard frequently photographed on motion sensor cameras on Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. It is Madiba who inspired this bronze leopard bust which was commissioned by the Amani Harmonic Foundation and created by South African artist, Neil Parkin.

ART AS A CATALYST FOR CONSERVATION

It is Neil’s intention and that of Amani Harmonic Foundation that this bronze bust share the story of the wild creatures of the pristine Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy region that lies between the coast, Gansbaai, Stanford and Elim, and that Madiba generate funds to continue the conservation efforts of Grootbos Foundation. The bronze bust is a larger-than-life artistic recreation of a Cape leopard inspired by the stories and images captured by our team through our wildlife monitoring survey. The sculpture is currently housed in the Hannarie Wenhold Botanical Gallery. 

Madiba is for sale, the profits of which will go towards ongoing conservation projects of Grootbos Foundation in the very landscape that Madiba thought of as his home.

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